Little Schoolhouse on the Prairie

The Pedagogy of a Rural Educator


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South Dakota Math and Science Teacher’s Joint Conference

Each year I have been teaching, I look forward to February. Since I live in South Dakota, February means freezing cold weather, snow storms, and the SD joint math and science teaching conference!! This conference has been a highlight of my winter each year since I’ve been a undergrad. It is a joint conference between the South Dakota Council of Teachers of Mathematics and the South Dakota Science Teachers Association. This year, I decided to present for the first time. I also attended some great sessions throughout the two-day conference.

To begin the weekend, I presented about using Twitter for education. To see my post about this, click here. I was thrilled to see a “packed house” of about 25-30 South Dakota teachers, all wanting to learn about using Twitter for their professional development. The presentation was a lot of fun, and I was very excited to see many of the participants tweeting throughout the conference. I hope they all continue to use Twitter!

Throughout the day Friday, I also attended sessions on basic research and it’s role in biomedical science, incorporating literature in science classrooms, and visualizing large numbers. I met pre-service teachers in a round-table between them and veteran teachers, where I probably learned more than I taught (as it usually goes!). Finally, I learned about ISEE, a  new venture between South Dakota State University and regional teachers to enhance science education in South Dakota and beyond. Read their blog about the sessions at the conference here. To finish the day Friday, we enjoyed a banquet with featured speakers Rose DuBois and Randy Hagen, who talked about “Every Day Greatness”.

On Saturday, I enjoyed sessions about modeling biology by the amazing Kelly Riedell, and looking at math and science from an artist’s eye. I also loved the session titled “Neuroscience Meets Magic and a Zombie Apocalypse”. Jill Weimer did a great job explaining the AMAZING things that are taking place at Sanford Research Centers, and told us a little about zombies!! I finished the conference by presenting my other session, STEM Student Research, to a huge crowd of two people! (Thanks to those two for coming!) At the end of the day, many people leave early, as they have long drives to get home. However, I still enjoyed sharing my experiences with them!

I have always enjoyed the conference in Huron, and plan to keep attending as long as I’m teaching in South Dakota! If you haven’t, look for a conference in your region!! They are a great source of connections, information, and renewal for any teacher!